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lilbaggie's 1971 El Camino

11604 Views 41 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  lilbaggie
Year and Model:
1971 El Camino Custom

Engine Specs and Modifications:
383 Stroker motor
1.6 roller rockers
aluminum heads
lunati 60103 cam
March underdrive multi-ribbed aluminum pulleys
Edelbrock Air Gap RPM manifold
Edelbrock 1411 750 cfm carb
6" open element air cleaner
Dual Spal electric fans
aluminum 3-row radiator
hedman headers
dual 2.25 exhaust with Flowmaster 40 series mufflers

Drivetrain Specs and Modifications:
2400 Stall
10-bolt 3.73/Posi
slotted disc brakes

Suspension Specs and Modifications:
Front end polyurethane bushing kit
stock front sway
lowered springs
Hotchkis shocks, adjustable trailing arms & rear sway bar
rear air bags

Exterior Specs and Modifications:
Champagne Gold w original functional cowl induction hood
SS hood stripes
15" 1970 SS style repros/15" 1971 SS 5-spokes original
Dunlop GT Qualifiers 235/60/15(F)/ 275/60/15(R)

Interior Specs and Modifications:
*********** leather buckets from 68 GTO
original Monte Carlo SS dash w SS gauges w "woodgrain" faceplate
original horseshoe floor shifter/center console w shiftworks 700R4 adapter kit
power window/locks
JVC nav/dvd/bluetooth headunit
CAS kick panels
Pioneer 5-ch amp
Bazooka tube subwoofer

Electrical Specs and Modifications:
GMPP HEI Distributor
MSD 6A Ignition
8 mm Taylor plug wires

Photographs (if any):

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1 - 20 of 42 Posts
I WAAANTT ITTT how much did you pay for it
Very Nice!!

rigsboo, you probably don't want it right now—it came back from paint with a miss in cylinder #8 and i think i wiped a #$%@&*% lobe on my cam.

But i bought it back in 1999 for $3k. The body and interior were decent with the usual rust areas behind the wheels on the fenders and rear quarter. But it had a mediocre black paint job (original color was metallic lime green) and came with the original 350. I bolted on a bunch of stuff (intake, cam, carb, roller rockers, pulleys), had fun for a little while but the engine was tired and started blowing oil.

So i spent about $10k when I restored it in 2004 with a 383 stoker, 700R4, rear end, new paint, leather interior and new carpet.

Then recently spent another $5k for an interior color change and turning it into an SS "clone/tribute"—repaint, CI hood, SS dash, center console, door panels, power bucket seats, leather, and trailing arms/sway bar.
Yep, cam went flat.

This is what a wiped lobe looks like (sorry, i didn't realize the picture was blurry until after i threw away the offending pieces in disgust):

A should NOT be concave and B should be ovoid, not round.

Those of you still using flat tappets, if you haven't already, make sure you're using a motor oil with the proper ZDDP content like a Joe Gibbs racing oil or use a Zinc additive with each oil change.
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Finally took off the Edelbrock and bolted a Barry Grant Speed Demon 750. Wasn't happy with the performance on the Eddy and rather than chase its tail, decided to just bolt on a new carb. Found a good deal on the Demon. Ran a hard fuel line and heat shield.

Performance-wise, the carb is great. No more flat spots or off idle hesitation. Hooked up an 02 Sensor to the exhaust and the A/F settings were near perfect straight out the box. The Demon will on occasion be hard to start when cold (fires up, catches, idles for a sec and then dies, idles ok after second restart). Hopefully it's just a matter of not having the electric choke set properly. The Eddy never failed to fire right up, cold or not.

Mileage-wise, haven't noticed a big difference perhaps a slight drop in economy.

Craftmanship-wise, atrocious. I know why Summit stopped selling them awhile back and why BG went out of business. Had to partially rebuild a brand new carb. Unacceptable QA. Hopefully the new owners will make that priority one.

Overall though, I'm happy with the new carb…
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And while I'm here, some updated finished interior shots with all the junk cleaned out:

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Worth every penny

AWESOME looking ride:texas:
Sweet ride...Nice Job !!!
Very, very nice!!! I liked it all except
{Hopefully the new owners will make that priority one.}:dontknow:
Did you build it to sell?
Great job either way!!!!!:nanawrench:
Thanks again, guys!

It's been fair amount of work and the wiped lobe after everything was assembled was a kick in the teeth but the car's been a joy ever since. In the 3rd Gen v. 5th Gen debate, I was pretty sure hands down, I was a 5th gen guy (i have an resto/modded 87 which I love dearly too) but ever since the 71's been dialed in, i'm not so sure. Sometimes i'll just fire the motor up just to hear it!

Last project for the 71 is an aftermarket AC setup at some point. We're planning on moving to the great state of Texas (Dallas or Austin) and the car is already a hot box in just the SoCal summers…

Oh no no no no! This line: {Hopefully the new owners will make that priority one.}
was referring to the new owners of Barry Grant. They went out of business for a spell and I think Jegs or somebody just bought them. They're fantastic carbs when they're assembled the properly. What came from the factory was inexcusable.
Beautiful resto:inlove:did your 70 come with the console and horseshoe shifter,or was it added? If so how much did u give for it? Im wanting to covert my 69&72,already have columns just need the console and shifters.although my (restored) 69&72 are beautiful in there own light,my 5th gen 87 takes presidence!:twisted:5TH GENS RULE!!! Keep cruckin and enjoy:beer:

Thanks! My 71 was originally a bench seat, 3-spd column shifter so I added the console and horseshoe (and buckets) when I did the SS "cloning" phase of the car. All the SS items I added were original (not repro) pieces so the going rate for the console and shifter is anywhere from $275—475 depending on condition and completeness of the setup (seat belt holders, harnesses, shifter cable). I've seen lower than that but they're pretty rough.

I initially found a clean one for $300 on [email protected] but the seller decided to ship in it a box barely bigger than the console itself with about four packing peanuts for padding. He also mailed it with the shifter in place, LOOSE in its slot. Needless to say it did not do well in transit. Ended up having to scramble and settled for an already restored/rechromed one for $450. On the high end but the guy does many console restos and he also knew how to pack and ship them.

If you end up finding one that isn't local, be very specific about how it is packed and shipped. I heard a number of horror stories after the fact and it's always a shame when they don't arrive in the same condition they left in.

BTW, 5th gens do rule! Here's my 87: http://www.elcaminocentral.com/showthread.php?t=39764
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Now that's what im talking :nanawrench:about!!!:You_Rock:gota get some pics up,but lets just say us so.cali folks think a:beer:like grrreat detail.and the irocs,lets just say there is no other wheel id EVER run on my gbody:cali:ssorry folks its a so.cal thing,you wouldn't understand:wink2:
Both your El Caminos are awesome! I hope mine turns out half as nice as yours:You_Rock:
Thanks ELBMINO and dirtpoor!

Being in CA definitely makes it easier. I'm from Illinois originally too (outside of Chicago) and I remember what all those winters and road salt does to metal!
BTW, acceleration seemed to bog on hot days or longer stop and go trips. Just installed a sealed cowl induction air cleaner to see if it makes a difference…

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WOW, look forward to seeing you if you end up in the Dallas area. We've had a record breaker this year.
Beautiful El Camino :inlove:
1 - 20 of 42 Posts
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